The disciples stood around the body of Paul, lamenting over him whom
they supposed to be dead, when he suddenly
lifted his head, and arose to
his feet with the praise of God upon his lips. To the disciples this seemed
like a resurrection from the dead, a miracle of God to preserve the life of
his faithful servant. They rejoiced with inexpressible gladness over his
restoration, and praised God with renewed faith in the doctrine preached by
These disciples had been newly converted to the faith, through the
teachings of Paul, and had stood steadfast notwithstanding the
misrepresentation and malignant persecution of the Jews. In fact, the
unreasoning opposition of those wicked men had only confirmed these
devoted brethren in the faith of Christ; and the restoration of Paul to life
seemed to set the signet of God upon their belief.
On the present occasion these last words were literally realised, for by
the power and goodness of God he rose from a state of apparent death as
if by a sudden resurrection.7
Though "persecuted," he was not
"forsaken,"—though "cast down" he was "not destroyed." "As the
disciples [p. 174]
stood about him, he rose up, and came into the city."1 We see from
this expression that his labours in Lystra had not been in vain. He had
found some willing listeners to the truth, some "disciples" who did not
hesitate to show their attachment to their teacher by remaining near his
body, which the rest of their fellow-citizens had wounded and cast out.
These courageous disciples were left for the present in the midst of the
enemies of the truth. Jesus Christ had said,2 "when they persecute you
in one city, flee to another," and the very "next day"3 Paul "departed
with Barnabas to Derbe."
7 The natural inference from the narrative is, that the recovery was miraculous; and
it is evident that such a recovery must have produced a strong effect on the minds of
the Christians who witnessed it.
1 Acts xiv. 20.
2 Matt. x. 23.
3 Acts xiv. 20.
Howbeit, as the disciples stood round about him, he rose
up, and came into the city: and the next day he departed with
Barnabas to Derbe. (Acts 14:20)